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Ducati

The 2011 Ducati Diavel power cruiser

Two very interesting pieces of news from Italian motorcycle marque Ducati this week. Firstly, a co-operative partnership and MotoGP sponsorship deal with Mercedes-AMG – demonstrating the dollar- and eyeball-pulling power of star recruit Valentino Rossi – and secondly, the wraps have come off one of the worst-kept secrets in the motorcycle industry, with the Ducati Diavel power-cruiser making its public debut. The Diavel has got most Ducati fans stumped – it's a bizarre-looking musclebike/cruiser/street rod design that seems to fit somewhere in between the Ducati Streetfighter and the Yamaha V-MAX – and it mates a whopping 240-section fat back tire with a firmly performance-focused, quick-revving, 162-horsepower V-twin motor. It's the first step into a completely new market for Ducati, and its bold, brutish design is already causing fights among the faithful.  Read More

2011 MV Agusta F3

The star of the 2010 EICMA motorcycle show held in Milan this week was undoubtedly the new MV Agusta F3. Though many of the specifics of the new three cylinder 675cc F3 have not yet been revealed (such as weight), it has more horsepower (138 bhp) than any supersport category motorcycle bar the Ducati 848 V-twin. The engine uses a counter-rotating crankshaft (claimed to partially balance the gyroscopic effects of the wheels to make a more nimble machine), and comes with ride-by-wire, traction control and multiple engine power maps – all firsts in the class. Most of all though, it has impeccable breeding.  Read More

The Wirthwein Ducati V8

The Intermot motorcycle and bicycle fair rolled around in Cologne earlier this month with a lot of focus clearly beginning to shine on the area of electric bikes, scooters, bicycles and even smaller devices. Gizmag looks at the 10 kg Yikebike, the world's fastest electric scooter, Kawasaki's 210 bhp ZX10R, BMW's six cylinder masterpiece, Horex's V6 and one of the most astounding engines we've yet seen - the Ducati 868cc V8 of German engineer Dieter Hartmann-Wirthwein. The layout of his engine (pictured) enables a compact four cylinder engine to be built on a single cylinder crankcase.  Read More

The Suzuki produces 679 kW of power and 887 Nm of torque

Two remarkable things happened at Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday. The first was that a 60 year old man won an internationally recognized motorsport event – Japan’s Monster Tajima continued to do just that to all-comers, taking his 1100kg 910hp Monster Sport Suzuki SX4 to a fifth straight victory. The second was that a newcomer won the motorcycle class. Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 S has had a spectacular market introduction around the world, and furthered the legend by taking an international hillclimb title in very close to standard roadbike trim.  Read More

NCR's M16 MotoGP streetfighter: the most exclusive motorcycle on the planet?

Overkill. The word's origins are military in nature, describing a situation where one country has enough nuclear weapons to destroy significantly more of another nation that it would ever need to in order to win a war. But the term applies perfectly to today's sportsbike market, where any numpty with a license and a check book can waltz into a dealership and wobble out on a thoroughbred race machine that can break the speed limit at mid-revs in first gear and accelerate faster than any car on the road. Of course, for some people that's just not enough, bless their souls – but to create a vehicle that stands out from the pack in such a time of plenty, you have to take things to the absolute extreme. And it's a long time since we saw anything quite as extreme as the NCR M16, a bike that takes one of the most expensive roadbikes ever built, throws almost all of it in the bin and replaces it with the most exotic materials on the planet. Gentlemen, start your drooling.  Read More

Corser appears to be approaching his best again now that the BMW is getting sorted Photo b...

The world's fastest road bike derivatives went to Italy last weekend for the latest round of the World Superbike Championships at Monza, AKA “the Cathedral of Speed.” Monza favors very fast motorcycles and the results echo what we'd already suspected after several rounds of the championship - there appears to be a changing of the guard underway and the addition of BMW and Aprilia to Europe's previously sole superbike contender, Ducati, appears to have tipped the balance of power away from the Japanese marques. A double-win to Aprilia and BMW's first podium in the superbikes were one indicator as was BMW's continuing superstock dominance. In a class that's an excellent guide to the sportiness of showroom road bikes, BMW's S1000 RR blew the competition into the weeds.  Read More

Former Grand National Champion Joe Kopp leads the field on his Ducati

Harley Davidson has been dominating flat track racing in America basically since it began. On the faster one mile tracks it is 17 years since any other manufacturer has won a race. So it was an enormous surprise to see the Ducati Hypermotard 1100EVO powered flat-tracker take the marque's first ever Grand National victory in the Yavapai Downs Mile in Arizona last Saturday. Apart from ending an unbroken 17 year winning streak by Harley on one mile tracks, the win marks the first time a readily available production engine has won a Grand National Twins race in 29 years.  Read More

Clockwise from top left: the 2009 MotoGP Desmosedici GP9, two patent application drawings ...

Last year when we did an extensive feature on Ducati’s motogp carbon fibre semi-monocoque frame, we lauded its groundbreaking technology. Now it seems the Italian powerhouse is so pleased with its handiwork that the semi-monocoque design looks set to replace Ducati’s trademark trellis frame on its road bikes in the future too.  Read More

Valentino Rossi testing Ferrari F1 on January 21, 2010

It is interesting to note that the three biggest stories in Formula One right now concern a driver who competed in 2010 but not in 2009 (the Michael Schumacher comeback), a driver who competed in 2009 but not 2010 (Raikkonen loses his drive and goes WRC) and a driver who has never competed in F1 and quite possibly never will – Valentino Rossi. Indeed, Rossi has only ever driven an F1 car six times, but his status as one of motorcycling’s all-time greats and one of the most popular and media-savvy sportspeople of all time make the possibility an incredibly enticing prospect. For Ferrari, Rossi brings a global army of fans and the possibility of a rare Italian driver-car title combination that hasn’t happened since Alberto Ascari in 1953, despite 15 drivers titles and 16 constructors titles for the marque since then. This week Rossi tested in a Ferrari F1 car again, and was so fast that the possibility might now be approaching a probability.  Read More

The Yamaha 1200 Super Tenere twin

The 2009 Tokyo Motor Show last October saw some bizarre non-debuts as there had been an accord between the Japanese manufacturers that all would cut back their expenditure on the show in deference to the retrenchments resultant from the GFC. We mentioned this with our coverage of the Yamaha stand's Super Tenere “Art installation” at Tokyo. Here was a somehow fully formed motorcycle that was not really on show. Well the mystique has been maintained, because no images have been released yet, but we now know a lot more about the bike's fine details – the 1200cc parallel twin will have a 270 degree crank (for a v-twin feel), and will use Yamaha's YCC-T ride-by-wire throttle, have switchable engine-mapping, traction control, three-position anti-lock braking, a Unified Braking System that links the front and rear brakes, …  Read More

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